Wednesday, August 01, 2007

History Descending a Staircase

If today’s youth seems disinterested to the output of modern public intellectuals, perhaps it’s because of the awful dreck they produce. They write unreadable books; make unwatchable movies and the music…well let’s just say the less said the better.

This is of course deliberate. By making their work incomprehensible and obtuse they limit their work to elite chaste of those willing to suffer this nonsense or at least claim they do. Who would you rather read Eugene O'Neill or Noam Chomsky? Would you rather listen to Cole Porter or Phillip Glass? Once upon a time, artists actually had to succeed in the marketplace and consequently their work had to be accessible to a large audience. No longer, as our society has become wealthier it can support a high brow niche culture separate and apart from popular culture. People forget Mozart was a rock star in his day. The affection the author has for the likes of Aaron Copland is understandable. I share it myself but the broader society prefers Brittney Spears.

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